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4.0 The Map Display

4.1 Introducing The National Map Viewer Interface

The following diagram (Figure 4-1) highlights the key features on The National Map Viewer interface. Refer to the corresponding numbers below to learn more about each feature.

Figure 4-1
The National Map Viewer User Interface
UI Layout
  1. The Overlays tab contains a collection of map overlay layers. Once a layer is selected in the Overlays pane, it becomes visible on the map display. Layers can be reordered on the map using this pane. For more information, see Section 7.0 The Overlays Tab.
  2. The USGS logo is a link to the official U.S. Geological Survey site: http://www.usgs.gov/
  3. The Selection tab contains results returned from selecting features or searching for locations. Identifiable layers can be set using this pane as well. For more information, see Section 8.0 The Selection Tab.
  4. The Cart tab contains results from selecting data with the Download Data tool. For more information, see Section 9.0 The Cart Tab.
  5. The Left Pane button expands and collapses the left window pane, which contains the Overlays, Selection, and Cart tabs.
  6. The Toolbox contains a variety of tools that can be used on the map display. For ease of use, the toolbox is divided into three tabs: Standard, Advanced, and Annotation. For more information, see Section 5.0 The Toolbox.
  7. The Search field is used to search for locations on the map. Map services and KML can be added to the map using this field as well. For more information, see Section 6.0 Search.
  8. The Active Tool text displays the current active tool in The National Map Viewer. For more information, see Section 5.1 The Toolbox.
  9. The Download Data tool displays a window that presents download data options for The National Map Viewer. For more information, see Section 9.0 The Cart Tab
  10. The Clear button allows you to clear any graphics or annotation markups that were created on the map display.
  11. The Link button is a permalink feature that saves the current map extent. You can work more efficiently by copying and saving this link in your preferred browser. For more information, see Section 4.6 Link Button.
  12. The Print menu contains tools that are used to save as various file types and print the current map view. For more information, see Section 4.5 Print.
  13. The Options dialog contains various Coordinate Display and Selection Manager Display options. For more information, see Section 4.3 Options.
  14. The Help dialog contains quick reference help to Search FAQs, Map Navigation, and Search Box coordinate formats. The Bandwidth Test is also contained in this dialog. For more information, see Section 4.4 Help.
  15. The Hide Toolbox/Show Toolbox option toggles the toolbox on and off in order to maximize viewable space within the display. For more information, see Section 5.1 The Toolbox.
  16. The Zoom Slider is used to zoom in and out on the map display. For more information, see Section 4.2 Navigate the Map Display.
  17. The Cursor Position displays the coordinates of the current cursor position on the map display. Each time the mouse pointer is moved, the coordinates change to reflect the current position.
  18. The Scale is displayed to show the current map scale. For more information, see Section 4.2 Navigate the Map Display.
  19. Topo, Imagery, Hydro-NHD, and Blank buttons change the base map on the display. The Imagery buttons toggle to show labels, and the Blank button toggles to show land and water outlines. For more information, see Section 4.7 Change the Base Map.

4.2 Navigate the Map Display

4.2.1 Pan

Several pan functions are available in The National Map Viewer. Panning allows you to change the current map extent to view data that is currently out of the present view.

Panning with the Keyboard

  1. Click the up arrow key on the keyboard to pan north.
  2. Click the down arrow key on the keyboard to pan south.
  3. Click the right arrow key on the keyboard to pan east.
  4. Click the left arrow key on the keyboard to pan west.

Panning with the Mouse

  1. Hold the mouse button down while the cursor is on the map display.
  2. Drag the display to the desired location (the crossed arrows pointer Crossed Arrows Icon appears), then release the mouse button.

4.2.2 Zoom

Several zoom functions are available in The National Map Viewer. Zoom functions provide the capability to change the scale of the map view.

Zooming with the Zoom Slider

Figure 4-2
Zoom Slider
Zoom Slider

Figure 4-2 displays the features of the Zoom Slider. The corresponding number below describes how to use each feature.

  1. Click the up arrow of the Zoom Slider to zoom in on the map display.
  2. Drag the Zoom Slider up or down to zoom in or out incrementally.
  3. Click the down arrow of the Zoom Slider to zoom out on the map display.

Zooming with the Keyboard

  1. To zoom in, use the plus sign (+) key on the keyboard.
  2. To zoom out, use the minus sign (–) key on the keyboard.

Zooming with the Keyboard and Mouse

  1. To zoom in, hold down Shift and the mouse button while dragging a box around the desired location.
  2. Release the mouse button.
  3. To zoom out, hold down Shift + Ctrl and the mouse button while dragging a box around the location.
  4. Release the mouse button.

Zooming with the Mouse

  1. To zoom in, double-click on the map display.

Zooming with the Mouse Scroll Wheel

  1. To zoom in, roll the mouse wheel forward (away from your hand).
  2. To zoom out, roll the mouse wheel back (toward your hand).

4.2.3 Re-center the Map

You can re-center the map on a given point.

  1. Hold down the Shift key and use the mouse to click a point where you want the map to be centered.
  2. The map display pans to the clicked location.

4.3 Options

Figure 4-3
Options Dialog Box
Options Dialog Box

The Options dialog provides a means for you to customize The National Map Viewer interface by selecting the Coordinate Display and Selection Manager Display options (Figure 4-3).

4.3.1 Coordinate Display

The Options dialog allows you to change the format of the coordinates that are visible at the bottom of the map display. Use the Coordinate Display option to choose the coordinate format you prefer. By default, the Coordinate Display option is set to Decimal Degrees.

Figure 4-4
Coordinate Display Options
Coordinate Display Options
  1. Click the Options link.
  2. Select the coordinate format of your choice in the Coordinate Display option (Figure 4-4).
  3. Click the Save button. The Options dialog box is closed, and the coordinate format visible at the bottom of the map display is updated (Figure 4-5).
Figure 4-5
Coordinate Format Display on Map
Coordinate Format Display on Map

4.3.2 Selection Manager Display

The Selection Manager Display option on the Options dialog box allows you to change the version of Selection Manager. You can select either the Enhanced or Standard version. The Enhanced version allows you to sort features by column and to resize columns. However, it may require a greater processing time if viewing a large number of selections. The Standard version does not allow you to sort features or resize columns, but it performs better (is faster) than the Enhanced version. It is recommended that you use the Standard version if you are viewing a large number of features. By default, the Selection Manager Display option is set to Enhanced.

  1. Click the Options link.
  2. Select Standard (Performance) for the Selection Manager Display option (Figure 4-6).
    Figure 4-6
    Selection Manager Display Options
    Selection Manager Display Options
  3. Click the Save button.
  4. Open the Selection Manager tool under the Advanced Toolbar (Figure 4-7).
    Figure 4-7
    Selection Manager: Standard Version Dialog Box
    Selection Manager:  Standard Version Dialog Box

4.4 Help

The Help dialog contains information such as a Search FAQs capability, Map Navigation shortcuts, Search Box coordinate input examples, and the Bandwidth Test in tabular format.

In addition to the Help dialog box, help is provided on each tool dialog box. Click on the Help button on the top right corner of the dialog box to open an HTML version of help for that tool.

4.4.1 Search FAQs

Figure 4-8
Help Dialog Box: Search FAQs Tab
Help Dialog Box: Search FAQs Tab

The Search FAQs tab allows you to review answers to frequently asked questions through keyword searches in various categories. You can also access user guides, a list of services, and a few examples and demos of various functions and services. You can find this information in the Help section in the application.

  1. Click the Help link.
  2. Navigate to the Search FAQs tab in the Help dialog box (Figure 4-8).

4.4.2 Map Navigation

Figure 4-9
Help Dialog Box: Map Navigation Tab
Help Dialog Box: Map Navigation Tab

The Map Navigation tab of the Help dialog box contains information about how to navigate the map display. Various ways of panning, zooming, and re-centering the map are described in this tab.

  1. Click the Help link.
  2. Navigate to the Map Navigation tab of the Help dialog box (Figure 4-9).

4.4.3 Search Box

The Search Box tab of the Help dialog box contains information about how to search by coordinates. Acceptable formats for coordinate searching are depicted in this tab. See Section 6.0 Search for more information about searching.

4.4.4 Bandwidth Test

The Bandwidth Test measures the connection speed and connection type from where you are accessing The National Map Viewer. When you click the Run Test button, the test is run and finishes with a measurement of your connection speed. This information is displayed in a chart that illustrates where your measurement falls compared with the other types of connections. For instance, if your connection is rated at 2246.9 Kbps, then your type falls between "Full T1 1.544 Mbps" and "N x T1 3.0 Mbps" in the chart. This tool can be found on the Bandwidth Test tab of the Help dialog box.

  1. Click the Help link.
  2. Navigate to the Bandwidth Test tab of the Help dialog box (Figure 4-11).
    Figure 4-11
    Help Dialog Box: Bandwidth Test Tab
    Help Dialog Box: Bandwidth Test Tab
  3. Select a test endpoint from the drop-down list.
  4. Click the Run Test button.
  5. View the measurement of connection speed (Figure 4-12).
    Figure 4-12
    Bandwidth Test Result
    Bandwidth Test Result

4.5 Print - Save As

The Print tool allows you to export the map view and save as a temporary PDF, JPEG or PNG document for printing.

The Print tool is accessed by clicking on the Printer icon at the top right of The National Map Viewer title bar. When exporting a map to a PDF document, you have the option to modify the page size or layout and to add optional map elements, including a map title and notes, such as for projection information, classification, handling caveats, legend, and search or query results.

Printing the map as an image (JPEG or PNG) does not allow you to add map elements in the header, such as a map title and notes. The resulting map layout follows a standardized template, and can be saved locally or printed from a link generated by the SaveAs Exporter.

  1. Figure 4-13
    SaveAs Exporter
    SaveAs Exporter
    Click on the Printer icon at the top right of the page to open up the SaveAs Exporter (Figure 4.13). Choose the file type you would like: PDF, JPEG, or PNG.
  2. Figure 4-14
    Map Elements and Page Layout Dialog Box
    Map Elements and Page Layout Dialog Box
    Populate the Map Elements and Page Layout with a Map Title and Notes (if a PDF). Then click on Print Map (Figure 4-14).
  3. Figure 4-15
    Printing Results Dialog Box
    Printing Results Dialog Box
    Click on the Link to obtain the requested document in the Printing Results window (Figure 4-15).

4.6 Link

The Link dialog is for capturing map extents as a bookmark. It creates a permalink of the map view and saves extent, base map, visible layers, search criteria, and any added network links (KML). User added content and annotation are not saved. The link launches a new session of The National Map Viewer.

When you click on Link, a pop-up dialog box appears with the permanent link of the current map view. Copy and paste the URL into an e-mail, instant messenger window, or bookmark this extent in the browser of your choice (i.e., Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox). This feature allows you to work more efficiently because the map extent can be shared with others and saved for future use.

4.6.1 Share Permanent Link

Figure 4-16
Link Display
Link Display
  1. Click Link to share the current map view.
  2. A pop-up dialog box appears with a URL address that you can copy and paste into an e-mail or instant messenger window, or save as a link in your browser (Figure 4-16). Select the URL below the Paste link in an email or IM label and copy it.

4.7 Change the Base Map

When you click a Base Map, Imagery, or Blank button, the base map layer will automatically change. The background image will vary depending on which button you select as a base map.

4.7.1 Base Map Labels

Figure 4-17
Base Map Label Options Pop-up
Base Map Label Options Pop-up

Base maps have labels associated with them. These labels can be turned on and off by pausing the mouse cursor over the Base Map, Imagery, or Blank buttons, and toggling the desired label(s) in the pop-up that is displayed. Base map label settings are saved when you change base maps.

  1. Pause the mouse cursor over a Base Map, Imagery, or Blank button to display the label options pop-up (Figure 4-17).
  2. Toggle the desired label on or off as desired. The labels are displayed or hidden.

4.8 Loading Pane

Figure 4-18
Loading Pane
Loading Pane

The National Map Viewer displays a Loading pane (Figure 4-18) when loading layers or processing tasks. It is initially displayed at the bottom right corner of the map display and acts as a universal status bar for anything that makes a call to the server, such as loading layers from the Content pane and running tools such as Identify. It disappears when the content or task is complete.

The Loading pane is a movable pop-up that can be repositioned around the National Map Viewer interface by the user. To move it, grab it while it is visible and drop it in the desired location.

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